12 January 2017

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Why does Akka look so happy?   What’s that he is holding?

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MYNA birds?   WHY?

Oh, herein lies a tale.   Iopil, one of our trainees from Vanuatu, mentioned to Austin that it was a surprise to see so many mynas around.  They don’t come around much in Tanna.    They are afraid of people, because people eat them.    Well, of course Austin thought that was a great idea.  He’d tried it before (Kim’s opinion of the result:  YUCKY!)

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So here was the trap: just one of Austin’s mobile rearing pens, with the top propped.

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My question was how do you keep them from flying out when you open it?

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I could not imagine the Myna Master in Action.   Bangedy-bang-bang-bang with the stick.  In less than a minute this catch is ready to remove.

Before I go any further with this, please know that these birds have grown up on the same food as our chickens:  commercial feed, table scraps, and farm produce such as papayas.  And the population is artificially high because of all the grand food.

Anyway, the finally tally of birds caught was ……..  FIFTY-TWO.   “Sing a song of sixpence” …  we could have baked two pies and had birds left over.

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Austin parboiled the little birds whole, and then removed only the breast meat and the legs.  That is the meat we took from one myna.   Our dogs could have had what was left of all the mynas — so that all went to the chickens (who will eat ANYthing) after being thoroughly boiled.

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So here are Iopil and Joel set to work cleaning the rest of the big pile of parboiled mynas..

This time Akka is the one who did the final cooking of the harvested meat.  I don’t know what he did, but this time the mynas were DELICIOUS!   No kidding.  Those little legs tasted just like duck.   Yum yum yum.  (Some day I need to get photos of the final product.  By the time meals are ready, I’m thinking of eating, not documenting.)

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I’ve shown you this funny plant before whose leaves are edged with little cabbages that are baby plants.

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Well it has been so humid here that those plants have been sending out roots.  Reminds me of an old lady’s chin.

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It’s been downpours every afternoon.

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Just look at the build-up of bamboo behind the old bridge in Sigatoka!

Austin tells me that now folks from the nearby village are working on breaking up the bamboo logjam.  They’ve opened up a channel on the near side, and even started burning it in the middle of the river.

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CORN and MORE CORN

I spent three days “shelling,” that is taking the kernels off the cob.   Thank God Eopil and especially Joel decided to help.  The joints in my hand really take a hit, and I can’t stop once I get going.

If the cobs were boring, I could probably walk away – but they aren’t.   I’ll try to convince you.    Take this cob for example.  The kernels are so close together (after drying) that it is like one solid mass.   Quite a challenge.

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Here are some of the different patterns:

Straight, spiral, pine-cone end, pine-cone band.

There are also color variations and differences in the kernels’ skin – some tender, some really shell-like.   Corn is a beautiful crop.

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IMPORTANT MISSING INFORMATION — the coconut oil being made last week was being made with our own coconuts from the farm.  This was a first!

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Happy week, everybody!

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